Return of the duckweed 

More than usual duckweed this year, and a bit late clearing it. All worthwhile because the effort is not great – this 8 foot by 2 foot high pile was thrown on the bank in 90 minutes and represents well over three quarters of  what was on the pond.

I used my usual technique of putting on my waders and pushing a 12 foot plank slowly, on edge, through the water, which moves large quantities of weed ahead of it to the bank. Then I use a plastic grass rake to throw the weed onto an old plastic tarpaulin (necessary unless you want to turn the pond edge into a bog).

Clearing the last bits of weed is relatively slow – another hour’s work – because it is now more dispersed. But once below a certain critical mass at this time of year – I cant say for sure what that is – the weed doesn’t take over the pond again (at least to next summer). I think the creatures that eat it, including the grass carp, can keep it under control for the rest of this summer.

Disposing of duck weed is a bit of a problem. Until now we’ve tried to compost it but it simply doesn’t rot  at the speed of most plants, even after a year in an otherwise warm and successful compost heap. So this year it will probably go in the brown bin we rent from the council for garden waste collection.

My method depends on having a pond you can walk in. If it is too deep or the mud is too thick, then you can try pulling a plank through the water by a rope at each end – it will need 2 people to do it. Before I desilted the pond I used this technique.

In fact I fixed 3 planks together (flexibly, using strips of rubber as joints cum hinges). With a rope at each end, and a person on either side of the pond pulling, it was quite effective at gathering weed to the bank where it could be raked out.


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